A family owned business that has fed Morgan County residents for more than 100 years is looking to simplify while expanding their offerings.
Hamilton’s Catering based in Franklin, has listed their property located at 110 North East Street in Jacksonville for sale, however the Hamilton family says they intend to continue providing banquet services at the location, and just the property, and not the family business is for sale.
President of Hamilton’s Kyle Hamilton, says when his father George Hamilton, expanded the family business into offering the full service banquet facility, his plans did not include becoming a landlord as well.
“As far as the building in Jacksonville, our intentions when dad bought it, he didn’t really intend to buy it, he intended to rent it and things at the time just kind of fell through and we ended up buying it, but that just really wasn’t what was on our plate at the time. So we have been kind of looking to get into the market and at least sell the building to where we could do our services upstairs and not have to do the all the stuff landlords do.”
Hamilton says that the decision to list the property has nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay at home order, but the business overall has had to overcome the pandemic putting a halt to large gatherings of people, which in the end is a foundation of their services.
“With the COVID we have been affected just like most places have been. I mean we have been pretty fortunate in the fact that we have been able to still do our senior citizen route, and we still have the bar and grill here in Franklin that has kind of been getting us by. A lot of the canceled business that we have are brides that are probably going to do something else in the future so we are getting by business wise.”
Hamilton’s Catering became involved in providing noon meals to area seniors when Kyle’s grandfather George Hamilton Senior was still proprietor, and senior services continue today.
Kyle Hamilton says though that as the business expanded their services in Franklin with the opening of The Green Wall Bar and Grill late last year, it has become a good time to simplify some of the operations by listing the property, in order to put more focus on food and beverage services.
Hamilton says the Green Wall Bar and Grill has had a good start overall, despite the shut down to dine in services during the pandemic.
“It’s doing well. For all the restaurants it’s just kind of a time of adapting, I mean, as soon as you adapt to carry out you can use an outdoor patio, and as soon as you adapt to that, you can go back to inside dining but you still have to follow the social distancing guidelines. It’s all just playing it a day at a time and learning how to adapt to everything and working through that.”
Hamilton says the bar and grill business has been an adjustment from the beginning, and there were days early on he felt he could get a buffet dinner together for a group of 300 people easier than he could a made to order by the plate dinner for 15.
He says the perseverance is paying off and the Hamilton’s are happy with the direction the new venture is going. He says if the 110 North East Building does sell, it will be contingent on the catering side being able to sign a long term lease to continue providing the banquet hall services in downtown Jacksonville, right across the street from site his great-grandfather Doc Hamilton began the family business over a century ago.
The Hamilton’s Building is listed with Grojean Realty of Jacksonville, and includes two parking lots, and nine business tenants on the first floor, with Hamilton’s banquet facility taking up the second floor of the 35,000 square foot structure.